Understanding the Term “Suicide Jockey” in the Context of Bulk Tank Wagons

In the world of trucking and transportation, various terminologies are used to describe different types of vehicles and equipment. One such term is “Suicide Jockey,” which is often heard over the CB radio in reference to a bulk tank wagon carrying hazardous materials (HAZMAT) placards.

What is a Bulk Tank Wagon?

A bulk tank wagon is a specialized type of tanker truck designed to transport large quantities of liquids or gases. These tanks are commonly used for hauling hazardous materials such as chemicals, fuels, or gases. Due to the nature of the cargo, strict safety regulations and precautions are in place to ensure the safe transportation of these materials.

The Origin of the Term “Suicide Jockey”

The term “Suicide Jockey” may sound alarming, but it is important to understand that it is a colloquial term used within the trucking industry. The origin of this term can be traced back to the early days of trucking when safety standards were not as stringent as they are today.

During those times, transporting hazardous materials was a risky job that required specialized skills and knowledge. Drivers who operated bulk tank wagons carrying hazardous materials were often exposed to potential dangers and risks associated with the cargo they were hauling.

The term “Suicide Jockey” emerged as a way to acknowledge the bravery and courage of these drivers who took on the challenging task of transporting hazardous materials. It served as a reminder of the risks they faced and the importance of their role in ensuring the safe delivery of these materials.

Importance of Safety in HAZMAT Transportation

Transporting hazardous materials requires strict adherence to safety protocols and regulations. The hazardous nature of the cargo necessitates specialized training and certification for drivers, as well as the use of proper equipment and safety measures.

HAZMAT placards are an essential part of the safety measures for bulk tank wagons. These placards display specific symbols and codes that indicate the type of hazardous material being transported. They serve as a visual warning to other drivers and emergency responders, ensuring they can take appropriate precautions in case of an accident or spill.

Evolution of Safety Standards

Over the years, safety standards in the transportation industry, particularly for hazardous materials, have significantly improved. Regulatory bodies have implemented stricter guidelines, training programs, and safety protocols to minimize risks and ensure the safe transportation of hazardous materials.

Today, drivers of bulk tank wagons undergo rigorous training and certification processes to handle hazardous materials safely. They are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to mitigate risks and respond effectively to emergencies.


The term “Suicide Jockey” is a colloquialism used within the trucking industry to describe drivers operating bulk tank wagons carrying hazardous materials. While the term may sound alarming, it originated from a time when safety standards were not as advanced as they are today.

Transporting hazardous materials is a critical task that requires specialized skills and adherence to strict safety protocols. The evolution of safety standards has significantly improved the safety of HAZMAT transportation, ensuring the protection of drivers, other road users, and the environment.

Today, drivers of bulk tank wagons play a vital role in the transportation industry, ensuring the safe delivery of hazardous materials to their intended destinations.


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